How Marijuana Could Save Atlantic City and New Jersey

58 percent of New Jerseyans want to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults. Legalization could start in Jan. 2018, the month a new, pro-pot Governor could be in office. Here in Atlantic City, legal weed would likely hasten our financial rebound. Pot tax money would help support the city, not the creepy dealer on the street.

In NJ, get caught with joint and you might get:

  • Six months of jail time
  • $1,000 fine
  • Two-year suspension of a driver’s license
  • Loss of employment
  • criminal record
  • Loss of immigration status
  • Loss of student financial aid
  • Three-year ban from public housing
  • Five-year ban from adoption.

Some findings after three years of legal pot in Colorado, the first state to tax and regulate marijuana:

  • Marijuana use among Colorado teens declined
  • Marijuana-related DUIs went down
  • State took in $135 million in taxes and fees last year.

A tightly regulated recreational marijuana industry could be replicated in New Jersey, it could add $300 million to the state treasury. It could save $127 million for the criminal justice system.

Will New Jersey join Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska in legalizing the drug in January 2018? Voters from five other states (Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada) will decide the legality in NOV 2016.

Plenty of research shows marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. We spend billions locking up people for violating these archaic laws.

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Time to legalize marijuana | Editorial